In an outstanding display of dedication to making a difference in their community, Mackay Sugar employees have today donated $13,850 to Grapevine Group – a local grassroots organisation that raises funds and awareness for suicide prevention across the Mackay region.

More than 180 Mackay Sugar employees contributed to the fundraiser by purchasing unique high-visibility uniforms, intended as workplace conversation starters on the topic of mental health issues.

The initiative was made possible by Mackay Sugar, which fully subsidised the cost of the shirts so that the full purchase price for employees – $50 per shirt – could be donated to the charity.

“At Mackay Sugar, we pride ourselves on having a long history in our community and it’s important to us that we continue to find ways to make a difference,” said Mackay Sugar General Manager People & Culture, Carissa Mansfield.

“One in five Australians are affected by mental health issues in any given year, and with a workforce of more than 800 people seasonally we know that we’re working alongside people who may be struggling,” said Mrs Mansfield.

“When we were presented with this idea to bring awareness of mental health issues into the workplace whilst also supporting an important local charity, it was an opportunity we were keen to be part of,” Mrs Mansfield explained.

The idea for the fundraiser was the brainchild of Mackay Sugar employee Sarsha Wurth who experienced the loss of a close family friend to suicide in October 2020.

“Mental health and suicide prevention are such an important topic for our community, but so many people don’t have the tools or confidence to speak up about it,” said Ms Wurth.

“If there is even just a small chance that these uniforms or the programs delivered by Grapevine Group can save even one life, that’s worth it to me,” explained Ms Wurth.

“Knowing that I am part of a business that cares about its people, and the community, is very important to me.”

“I was really excited when Mackay Sugar was as eager as me to help bring this initiative to life and I’m very proud to be presenting our donation to Grapevine Group today, during Mental Health Awareness Month” said Ms Wurth.

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